9th October 2010
With easterly winds and the offer of a lift, Winterton seemed like as good a spot as any to kickstart my autumn from a birdfinding point of view. Starting off in the South Dunes, we spent a long time staring into trees and the bankside scrub, finding loads of birds or very few species. Large flocks of Meadow Pipits were feeding all along the valley, confirmed as the most he had ever seen by one of the residents of the houses near the Hermanus. Almost every bird that wasn't a Meadow Pipit was a Robin, including one recently deceased bird, presumably dying of exhaustion. It wasn't all bad, a small number of Brambling had also arrived and allowed us close views.
We didn't go too far into the North side, but the bushes west of the totem pole held at least one Redstart. Further along a number of Goldcrests, some still flying in off the sea were collecting in the hollows. A number of Chiffchaffs were in the same bushes, but despite some variation in colour I couldn't turn any of them into something more interesting. We went the scenic route home, and were barely out of Winterton when I spotted a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting along an adjacent field. We pulled into a side track and watched it fly across the road and continue parallel to the car. Further along three Cranes were out in the open a few fields south of Horsey Mill.